“There's nothing like headbanging to some chunky riffs.”
— Ambassador Kyuss King
Named after a metal band and born into the world to their banger ‘Green Machine’ playing in the hospital room, Kyuss was made for a full throttle kinda life.
Hailing from Australia’s dreamy Byron Bay, Kyuss King (pro surfer and Sun Bum ambassador) has always been a man of many talents. Not only does he continue to push the limits as one of surfing’s most progressive young guns, he’s also a whiz at guitar, and most recently joining his brother Rasmus for some screen time in Hollywood. There’s rarely a dull moment with this guy and we’ve yet to find anything he can’t do.
But while we could go on and on about every contest he’s ever dominated or talk in depth about his mind-blowing collection of vintage surfboards (it’s mental), we think it’s his humble yet relentless go-for-it attitude with everything he cares about that inspires us most. We remain on the edge of our seats to see what he gets up to next.
Q&A with Kyuss King
We've noticed you're a bit of a metal head. Were you named after the band Kyuss?
Yeah, music is definitely a massive part of my life! From listening to it to playing it! Metal is 100% in the top of my genres. There's nothing like headbanging to some chunky riffs. Yeah, I was named after the band Kyuss. It was my dad's favourite band through the 90's. Funny story, my dad actually had the song Green Machine blasting in the hospital while my mum was in labor with me haha. I guess I kinda came into the world to that kinda music.
You’ve been wearing green wetsuits and riding green boards since you were a micro-grom. Is it just your favorite colour or is there more of a reason behind that?
I’ve always loved the rad and lairy colours of the 80’s. I grew up watching surf movies like Wave Warriors with Archy, Christian Fletcher and Potts. They would wear these wild wetsuits so I always loved adding the fluro colours (especially green) to my wetsuits and boards. The green for me also had something to do with the fact that I was named after the band Kyuss and my favourite song and my birth song is Green Machine! So, I always like to incorporate a green hit into my surfing as it’s a part of my story.
What’s your all-time favorite band and most recent record you’ve listened to?
Hmmmm that’s a hard one! I don’t think I could pick 1 band but here’s a list of my current top 5 bands I’ve been loving lately. TROUBLE, Kyuss, Fu Manchu, Mudhoney, Faith No More. Last record I played was Melvin’s Bullhead album. The track Boris is a doooozy of a song.
We noticed that you are interested in multiple musical genres. What have you been grooving to lately?
I’ve been listening to a fair bit of Punk lately. Ex: Black Flag, Circle Jerks, Bad Brains, Cro-Mags. These are rad bands definitely worth a listen! I’ve also been listening to stuff like The Doors, Johnny Cash, Ted Nugent, Tim Buckley, DEVO, and I love diving into the 80’s eg: WA WA NEE, flock of Seagulls, Kim Wilde, etc. I’m definitely locked into the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s I think it’s good to keep your genre options open, as there’s so much good stuff out there.
What's it like growing up on a farm in Byron Bay?
It's amazing. Byron Bay is such a rad place with lots of options for good waves. Our little farm is epic. We can blast music really loud and it won't annoy the neighbours "too much"... My brother Ras and I also love to ride dirt bikes around and fix up old school muscle cars. So it's nice having the space.
How would you say Byron has changed in the past 15 years?
Byron Bay has changed a lot since I was a grom!
I remember going to surf early before school and there would only be my family, a few mates and a handful of other locals. Now it's crazy!! Sometimes you can’t even get a park to go to the beach, but you can't really blame anyone as Byron is just such a beautiful place. Everyone that comes here doesn't want to leave.
We know you love vintage cars. What’s your dream ride?
Since I was a baby my parents have always had vintage and old school muscle cars, so I've always had an eye for the cool old styles and different Australian and American rides. It's such a fun hobby to have and a good outlet aside from surfing! And I'd have to say my 1969 Cadillac Coupe DeVille is pretty dreamy and my dream come true! I always wanted one and when I found it in California I knew it was the one! Another car I'd love to get one day would be a 1970 Dodge Charger R/T. These things are rad they're super mean looking, with a 440 big block under the hood.
How fast have you gone in that ’69 Caddy?
The Caddy is packing one of the meanest engines around. It’s got a 7.7 Ltr 472 V8 so it’s not cheap on fuel... but it goes like a dream. I’ve had it going pretty fast, however the thing about the caddy is that it’s not a car for speeding, but a cruiser. Think of it as a “Land Yacht”. It’s all about taking your time and enjoying the ride!
We’ve been lucky enough to check out your family’s incredible surfboard collection. What’s your all-time favorite board in that quiver?
Yeah Ras, my dad and I have been collecting old boards for a long time. It’s so cool to see where the current shapes of boards have come from. I’d say my favourite boards would have to be my McCoy Lazor Zap, Mitchell Rae flextail and our Michael Peterson hand shape.
Who’s your favourite surfer?
I think for me it’s a mix of a few surfers. I have always looked up to guys like Archy, Christian Fletcher and Potts because they had such cool styles, rad flair and so much raw energy that they’d take to the waves. Other more current surfers who inspire me are Dane Reynold, Kelly Slater, Nathen Hedge, Danny Wills.
As far as surfing, what are your goals for the next 5 years?
Within the next 5 years I’d love to make the championship tour and take a title! That has been my dream since I could surf! I also really want to travel and explore some new amazing waves and places and create cool videos. A couple more movies under my belt will be great too!
We noticed that you've been busy working on Hollywood style films while you're not surfing. What got you into the entertainment world?
Yeah the acting gig has been really fun! I'm always keen to try something challenging, different and new. The film Rasmus and I did really just came up out of the blue. We got hit up on insta by the director to do an audition and amazingly they liked what we did, so in short that's how it happened.
What's it like being on the set of a feature film?
It's epic! Such a different atmosphere to the surf scene! It's pretty rad being able to step out of your comfort zone and try something new! Being a totally different character was such an amazing opportunity and I learnt so much.Filming scenes with 20+ people watching was pretty daunting at first, but once I found my groove it became a total thrill... Everyone we worked with were legends and super supportive, so that was obviously incredibly helpful too. Being able to work alongside my brother and actually playing brothers in the film was another bonus. After watching Ras nail his part in Bosch and Rockit I was super inspired by him and able to learn so much from his previous experience. I'm so stoked to have had the great opportunity to try acting! The film is called '6 Festivals' – check it out!
What advice do you have for upcoming groms?
Keep it analog and make sure you have multiple passions in life. Being an athlete involves pushing your body a lot and therefore injuries are a part of the journey (as I'm experiencing right now) It's been so helpful in my healing journey to have other outlets and passions to keep my sanity.
Where do you see professional surfing 20 years from now?
Probably surfing some crazy wave pool tour on the moon. Or Mars?
We've always admired your relationship with your brother Rasmus. How does he inspire you?
Ras is my best mate 100%. Since we were micro groms we’ve always surfed, jammed/ listened to music, worked on old cars and travelled the world together. He's always inspired me and pushed me to be better in and out of the water. Ras has such an amazing surfing style. So relaxed and effortless. It definitely inspires me to take new lines. Watching him do so great on the movie screen was also very inspiring and a proud brother moment for me. Ras and I have had so many good times and adventures together... I can't wait to see what the future holds!
Do you guys ever surf with the Hemsworth crew (fellow Byron Bay residents and movie stars)? If so, we gotta know…can they get tubed?
Yeah the Hemsworths are rad and definitely can get tubed. Rasmus has become really good friends with Luke after they filmed Bosch and Rockit together, so we see him around a fair bit. (He's got a pretty mean frontside hack btw)
Vegemite & cheese or Avo on toast?
Definitely Vegemite and cheese. Pretty much lived on this combo as a grommet :)